For a full tang handle I like the second bias cut. For a wa it's quarter sawn all the way.
Available handles- [url]http://s64.photobucket.com/user/mkriggen/library/Available20handles[/url]
Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
This is a crude illustration to show where wood would break if it were to crack.
Think of the length of the white line as the amount of strength to that sort of cut.
Crosscut with end grain faces would be about 10 to 15% of the possible strength of the piece of wood.
Bias cut would be about 60 to 70% depending on the angle.
Flat and quartersawn would be 100%.
This is an oversimplification of how a piece of would will be weakest or strongest.
Crosscut looks best.
I agree with some others that crosscut has the coolest appearance, but its relative weakness and cognizance of the decision to make a structurally weak cut of wood just to take advantage of it visually is a little bit of a turnoff.
If I were to use a crosscut piece on a knife for myself it would only be as ferrule material where the wood is supported by the tang, or as spacer material.
But that is just my preference. I like to be a bit cautious and plan for the worst.
Good thoughts. The crosscut I've seen on furniture has been fragile in the extreme. This stuff loves to separate along the grain.